Not So Normal After All

Today was supposed to be the first day of our new normal.

It turned out to be not so normal after all.

It would seem that my body and my mind could not locate anything close to normal.

Today I did not function well.

I cried for much of the day.

I felt lost and broken for most of the day.

Taking Esther and William to a 45 minute class that we all love exhausted me.

I shouted at William for wanting cuddles.

Why did I do that?

I love cuddling William.

My gorgeous squishy little boy.

I felt irritated by cuddles and closeness today.

I sometimes felt like my skin was crawling.

How can that be?

When it is cuddles and closeness I am missing the most.

I am so confused.

I am so scared that I am being a bad mummy to Esther and William.

A bad wife to David.

That my behaviour is affecting them in so many negative ways.

They need me to be moving on.

They need me to be finding normal.

And I can’t.

Today I would have stayed in bed if I could.

Except we don’t have a bed.

Just a mattress on the lounge floor as I refuse to sleep in that room.

The room where she died.

The room where we failed to save her.

Today was not a good day.

I could not pick myself up.

David had to not work.

To get me through the day.

He stayed with us.

Played with us.

And worked the best he could alongside us.

I love my husband so much.

Tomorrow we will try again to find out what normal might mean.

Our new normal.

But today we just got through the day.

We started the morning with trains, of course!

Train Time

We had a picnic lunching whilst watching Show Me Show Me. This simple thing had me in floods of tears as I thought about Baby Tilda and how she used to giggle whenever Esther and William giggled. How she would cock her head to one side whilst looking at them as if thinking, ‘What are they finding so funny?’ It also broke my heart to think that she would be sat beside them now eating the same snacks rather than trying to steal bits of theirs.

Everything we do just makes me miss her so much.

Makes me think about what she might be doing if she were here.

It is so unfair that we will never see her grow from baby to toddler as she should be doing now.

I want her back!!

After lunch we did puzzles and played trains again.

Lots of low key things.

Nothing exciting or inspirational or educational.

I was barely functioning and Daddy had to take charge.

He, of course, knew just how to make me smile.

We filled our playroom with bubbles for Baby Tilda.

Blowing Bubbles

Esther and William totally understand that we are blowing bubbles for Tilda. They know that she is up in the sky. They do not understand why. They do not understand why I just do not go and get her back. William today told me that I should go and get Baby Tilda from the sky to eat my cheese on toast crusts. Just like she always did.

William also today said that he is too big to go up to the sky.

Please God let that be true!

We blew and blew our bubbles for Baby Tilda today.

Led on bravely by Daddy.

Baby Bubbles

We blew our bubbles to the sky. To Baby Tilda in the sky.

Today was really too cold to go outside for any length of time but we did want to get the twins doing something fun and active.

And so Daddy organised some Up And Over.

Up and Over

Climb up Daddy’s step ladder, dive over the sofa, tumble down to the mattress, bounce on the mattress (monkey friend optional), crawl through tunnel and start all over again. Up and Over!

Two Little Monkeys Bouncing On The Bed

By bed time Esther and William were utterly exhausted and they were content.

Not happy.

They both seemed a little sad today.

Certainly my fault.

How confused must they be seeing their Mummy crumbling and crying all the time?

They were both very cuddly today.

I am so ashamed that I shunned their cuddles this morning.

I do not know what came over me.

I am desperate to grieve for Tilda.

But I do not want to push away Esther and William in doing so.

Tomorrow is a new day.

And we will try again to find out what is normal.

Today turned out to be not so normal after all.

28 thoughts on “Not So Normal After All

  1. Jennie, it breaks my heart to read this. I’ve had such a lovely day for MC’s birthday but my thoughts have often turned to you and how your first day of David returning to work was. I’m sorry it didn’t go to plan. Don’t feel so bad for shunning the twins cuddles, you need to allow yourself time to grieve and it’s perfectly natural to be feeling like you are.
    It is going to be such a long and difficult journey but things will get easier. Matilda will never ever be forgotten but you will learn to deal with each day and every milestone is going to be ever so hard for you. Your friends and family are all here for you. Sending you even more love and strength. I just wish I lived closer so I could have the twins for you – MC would love them so much! Hugs xx

  2. Darling Jennie, I wish I had the answer. I wish I knew what to say. You are doing the best you can. Everyone knows that. What you have done in the last few weeks is more than I could manage in a lifetime. Be kind to yourself. xxx

    • Oh gorgeous amazing lady. Messaging you from mini-break in Paris a bit drunk so I hope I don’t type anything stupid…! So many good comments on here with fantastic sentiments behind them. Grief must just be a learning curve. A steep one! Today you learnt that a part of your grief for Tilda means some times or days, or hours you will feel this “skin-crawling” thing where you need not to be touched and can’t offer contact and cuddles to others. You must honour this and find ways to allow yourself this space! (Btw. this reminds me that when pregnant with Lucian and still breastfeeding Gabs I felt this really strongly this skin-crawling thing where I couldn’t bear Gabs to breastfeed. I did it, but I couldn’t bear it. And I loved breastfeeding usually! I’m sure it’s more common you think for all sorts of reasons). You must accept this and not feel guilty, lovely! Why SHOULDN’T grief manifest itself this way, as a need for your soul to be alone, in touch with Tilda’s in the sky?? I’m sure it’s totally natural. You and William and Esther will all have different reactions at different times. I bet they understand on a deep subconscious level! You give them so much love at all other times, I don’t think they can be too affected by this on a long term scale. You are a wonderful, brave, super-loving mummy and that balances out any moments where your need overwhelms theirs. You MUST respect that and allow yourself these moments. At my grandmother’s funeral, my mother spoke, so bravely, and said (my mother is and was the best of mothers, an amazing mother of four, we totally adore her and can only aspire to her standards with our own children).. she said, “The most important thing I ever learned from Jo (my grandmother)..is that you must look after yourself first in order to be able to look after others. NEVER feel guilty about it.” And you mustn’t! This comes from my grandmother to you, from beyond the grave! You MUST look after yourself first, and do whatever it takes to maintain your state of balance, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually… this is not selfish. It is necessary. It is like not trashing a car with constant driving, but leaving it alone in the garage sometimes, so that it can safely drive your precious children to school. You don’t love the car more, you love your children more! you just treat the car the way is necessary to help it keep your children safe! And you must do the same with yourself! Except that you should love yourself more than the car, and as much as your children, because you are so wonderful, and so worth it! What a stupid metaphor… but the best a can come up with after two carafes of house red. Apologies! xxxx

  3. Jennie, you are an amazing mummy, an amazing woman and mummys are allowed to have feelings too, its normal and your beautiful twins wont suffer from it, I promise. In order to grow and accept the world as it is, they have you to understand, although you might not see it now. You are all doing a wonderful job and Baby Tilda will be so proud, as we all are. So many of us follow your page, your pain and embrace you with our ‘cyber’ hugs. I know this doesn’t heal your pain, but please believe me when I say mine and my family all send our absolute love, prayers and hugs to you and your family x x

  4. Jennie – I don’t know you but I wish I could do more than just send a message. You are doing wonderfully well – there is no timetable for grief – it is still very early days. Some days will be better than others but don’t feel guilty for being sad or not feeling like cuddles all the time – the twins love you unconditionally. This has changed you forever and you will think about Matilda every day for the rest of your life – but you are so strong. Grieve in whatever way you need to – cry when you need to and smile when you can at the wonderful memories of your beautiful daughter. I have so much admiration for you.
    Sending you a virtual hug x

  5. You don’t need to race to normal. Be kind to yourself and carve out some time for yourself. Make use of those around you to give yourself time to grieve. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like doing normal stuff and don’t worry if you don’t feel like being super mum all day long. Low key is good if it helps get through the day.

  6. Its only been a matter of weeks Jennie, it’s all new to you. Not only do you have the emotions of missing Tilda, you also have the hormones to contend with. Give yourself time. You are a great mummy, Esther and William are content with trains and puzzles, you dont have to be all singing all the time.
    I had a thought of a lovely family day out for when you are stronger. We recently took our boys on the fast train from cantrbury to London. It was our train mad son’s first time on a fast train and the underground. He loved it. The other highlight of our day was the trip to the Science museum. We all loved the Bubble Show, a half hour show with amazing bubbles! Tilda would have loved it and I think you all will too.
    Sending you a big hug. You are an amazing mummy, in very difficult circumstances. Xxxx

  7. Dearest Jennie – I was trying to think of what to say and how to say it but in the interim most of what I feel has been said above and it’s all true. I think you are doing a brilliant job and so is David. It is ok for the twins to feel sad and it’s not your fault. By the sounds of things Baby Tilda wasn’t normal anyway – she was exceptional – and so are you and David and the twins. I am sending all my positive thoughts and prayers x

  8. Oh jennie. It’s only been 5 weeks. You cannot expect to snap back to normal so quickly and nobody expects you to either. There will be days like this and as long as you know that you’re not alone… thinking of you constantly
    Xxxx

  9. Jennie My heart is breaking for you, you do not need to be moving on, you are in the worst pain at the minute and you need time to deal with it and learn to breathe again. Esther and William will not be harmed by your crying they will know you are sad but they will also know how loved they all are. Please don’t be so hard on yourself David will grieve differently and I knw in our case when I was good MrR found that his time to go down and vice versa.
    Keep playing, keeping blowing bubbles and keep talking the days will get a little easier in the future x

  10. Oh hunny – again there are no words but your doing your best, there will be good days and bad days, some will be filled with tears, others you just function and get through and some days there will be laughter and fun – there is no right or wrong, there may not be a normal and that is ok. She will always be with you and she will help you mend in your own time and way xx

  11. You got out of bed & your bubbles & assault course are amazing – that is a great start!! It is such a blessing that the twins have each other….I just want to hug you & wipe the tears away….consider it done virtually :0) I found a little song you might like to sing together……

    My Love To You
    Bubbles float high and bubbles float low
    Bubbles filled with love wherever they go
    So reach out and grab one it’s my love to you
    This is the way I bid you adieu adieu, adieu, adieu to you
    So reach out and grab one it’s my love to you.

    Sleep well Jennie xx

  12. Oh gorgeous amazing lady. Messaging you from mini-break in Paris a bit drunk so I hope I don’t type anything stupid…! So many good comments on here with fantastic sentiments behind them. Grief must just be a learning curve. A steep one! Today you learnt that a part of your grief for Tilda means some times or days, or hours you will feel this “skin-crawling” thing where you need not to be touched and can’t offer contact and cuddles to others. You must honour this and find ways to allow yourself this space! (Btw. this reminds me that when pregnant with Lucian and still breastfeeding Gabs I felt this really strongly this skin-crawling thing where I couldn’t bear Gabs to breastfeed. I did it, but I couldn’t bear it. And I loved breastfeeding usually! I’m sure it’s more common you think for all sorts of reasons). You must accept this and not feel guilty, lovely! Why SHOULDN’T grief manifest itself this way, as a need for your soul to be alone, in touch with Tilda’s in the sky?? I’m sure it’s totally natural. You and William and Esther will all have different reactions at different times. I bet they understand on a deep subconscious level! You give them so much love at all other times, I don’t think they can be too affected by this on a long term scale. You are a wonderful, brave, super-loving mummy and that balances out any moments where your need overwhelms theirs. You MUST respect that and allow yourself these moments. At my grandmother’s funeral, my mother spoke, so bravely, and said (my mother is and was the best of mothers, an amazing mother of four, we totally adore her and can only aspire to her standards with our own children).. she said, “The most important thing I ever learned from Jo (my grandmother)..is that you must look after yourself first in order to be able to look after others. NEVER feel guilty about it.” And you mustn’t! This comes from my grandmother to you, from beyond the grave! You MUST look after yourself first, and do whatever it takes to maintain your state of balance, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually… this is not selfish. It is necessary. It is like not trashing a car with constant driving, but leaving it alone in the garage sometimes, so that it can safely drive your precious children to school. You don’t love the car more, you love your children more! you just treat the car the way is necessary to help it keep your children safe! And you must do the same with yourself! Except that you should love yourself more than the car, and as much as your children, because you are so wonderful, and so worth it! What a stupid metaphor… but the best a can come up with after two carafes of house red. Apologies! xxxx

  13. You are a very strong person and a good mum and wife. Never forget that, doesnt matter what days you have, better or worse, you do have each other and it is ok for one of you not to function fully all the time. Im really glad that David is working from home , as although he might not get on with his work that well or fully yet, you do have each other at a hands reach if needed be. It is still very fresh and you as a family will require more time to adjust and get somehow used to this new beginning. Please do allow yourself the time to grieve and feel down. It is normal and you cant keep smiling all day You seem to do very well with keeping afloat for now, the twins are amazing and so you are. hugs to you and keep on writing and blowing bubbles. x

  14. Jennie, you are going through such a tough time, such an enormous thing. Don’t be hard on yourself. It is all normal. I went through all these things too. There is so little time for grief in a busy life. Today was terrible, tomorrow you will be weary and afraid. The roller coaster goes on and on. You can’t make normal happen, it just has to find you itself. Gradually though, the humps even out or we earn to ride them. In a year you will be doing better, in Two and three years you will read this post and wish you could speak to yourself and say ‘you did fine, you are going to make it’.

    The twins will be okay. My girls are. You will make it. You will.

  15. jennie i am so sorry that the day did not go very well. it will take time to get to a new normal. i am sure that the twins understand in their own way why you did not want the cuddle. there will be days like this you need to grieve , you are always in my thoughts you and your family are amazing and William and Esther are so cute and the photos of them playing are beautiful x

  16. Dearest Jennie, I write this through my tears. I wish I could give you an enormous great big hug. There are no rights and wrongs and as others have said there will be good days and bad, in fact good hours and bad every day. I think you have been remarkably strong to go back to your groups for the sake of the twins already. What you must remember is that at their age they won’t hold into anything, so today they won’t be remembering that you didn’t want to hug them yesterday. That thought will have been lost 5 minutes later and certainly in the next hug. I think you are all doing an amazing job. Your low key for the twins is v impressive with assault courses puzzles etc. Lots of love xxx

  17. Big hugs for yesterday Jennie. I can’t imagine what you are feeling or going through but I’m sure how you are feeling is completely normal. You are allowed time to grieve and it seems you and David make a fantastic team holding each other up and taking over when it gets too much for the other. I hope today is a much better day xxxxxx

  18. Dear Jennie, words give you comfort, as you write so beautifully and honestly. You are making each of those words count each time you post, these posts will help you each day to recognise your innermost feelings, don’t deny them. You and Matilda Mae has shown so many of us the beauty in which love prevails all. It’s true that we push away those who love us, (who want to find comfort from us,) it’s human nature. Times are needed to find solace alone, and not answer to anyone, but W & E won’t think you’re a ‘bad’ mummy at all, don’t ever think that, and you and your husband will learn to work out the balance in time.

    There is no ‘normal’, we function differently on any given day, there is no pressure to conform to what you think everyone expects you to be. If you need to vent, cry, anything to express those emotions do so, better out than in I say. Being open and honest is better than trying to hide, (we all want to do that at some point), and trying to appear to be ok, people will come to expect that you’re ok, when really you’re not.

    If our arms could stretch out to you and hug you tight we would do, our place in this virtual world can only offer words of (hopefully) some comfort, so many of us think of you every day, knowing if you are ok, nothing more, nothing less. xxx

  19. Oh Jennie,I just want to take that pain away for you,I really do but we all know that no one can do that.You have been through,in my opinion,one of the worst things a mummy can ever go through it’s going to take time for a ‘normal’ to appear.Reading how most of the blogging community feel so shocked about your sweet baby Tilda it’s so absolutely understandable that you as her mummy feel and most probably are in shock.
    I think you are going to have to remember even ‘small steps’ are steps forward.You are doing wonders with William and Esther,even in these terrible circumstances you still show such care and commitment to them,they are warm,cared for and fed and so loved and when you feel a bit stronger I’m sure you will do some of the things that you want William and Esther to do.
    I read a comment about William and Esther not remembering the hug incident and I agree with that,they won’t remember and we all have moments we are not too proud of as mothers don’t we!
    Please pass onto David how much I love how the photos of him blowing bubbles with William and Esther!It seems like you are a good team together and for that I’m glad.
    Thinking of you Jennie,as always these days xxx

  20. Pingback: Learning through play | caterpillartales

  21. David does not think you dreadful for not becoming Mary Poppins overnight, does he? Please stop being so hard on you. Esther and William live in the moment, they will be fine, they know you adore them. It’s enough sometimes that you just keep breathing!! Nobody, including Esther and William either want or expect you to be “normal”, they just want you to be you, warts and all. You will always be Tilda’s Mummy and one day it will be manageable, but not yet. I know you want to be able to cope with it all, because you want to look after your family like no-one else can, but not yet. Please stop expecting too much from yourself, too soon. You are brilliant, and you are human. David, please know that all of the care, sympathy and affection expressed by the cyber community, of which only a minute percentage ends up on these pages, is also intended to include you. You two are quite obviously the matching halves of one complete soul, a rare and precious thing. We are all watching over you and keeping you in our thoughts and hearts.

  22. Pingback: Thinking about the worst that could happen and the grief of others | Mum in a Hurry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge